The Government has started work on “open disclosure” legislation, which would force medical professionals to inform patients and their families of medical incidents that have caused harm.
In a speech to the Family Lawyers Association of Ireland last week, the Minister for Justice said: “I believe that if hospitals were to investigate an incident and to admit liability quickly once medical negligence had been established, such reform would be much more beneficial to families.”
Open disclosure legislation would avoid families having to go to court to prove that medical negligence had actually occurred. Families would not have to incur the same level of costs for medical reports and legal advice.
“Indeed, it would mean that taxpayers money would no longer be wasted by State agencies seeking to defend the indefensible”, he said.
This is good news for injury claimants. We have been involved in many injury claims against St.Lukes Hospital, Kilkenny and other hospitals in Ireland, where there was blatant negligence on the doctors and/or hospitals behalf.Yet, the State would deny responsibility right up to the very end.
We’ve had the doctors come up to us afterwards saying they wanted to admit liability early on but were told they couldn’t.
Open disclosure will speed up the settlement of medical negligence claims and also reduce legal costs. Bring on the legislation !
– a legal newsbrief from Kilkenny Solicitors Holland Condon